Merger of ministries to improve handling of human resources

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 March, 2008, 12:00am

The new Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security will reduce duplication by combining the Ministry of Personnel and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and help bring about a more integrated approach to human resources policies, experts say.

State Council secretary-general Hua Jianmin told the National People's Congress meeting on Tuesday the new ministry would decide human resources and social security policies, improve intermediary services provided by the government for job seekers and employers and organise inspections of working conditions.

On the sidelines of the NPC meeting, Minister of Labour and Social Security Tian Chengping said: '[The new ministry] will be very beneficial for the integration of human resources management, the building of a standardised human resources market across the nation, and the system of employment promotion and social security.'

The Ministry of Personnel has been mainly responsible for the recruitment and appointment of civil servants. Its other responsibilities are vague and minimal - such as 'managing' technical professionals and helping People's Liberation Army veterans find jobs.

A department dealing with the appointment and recruitment of civil servants would be set up under the new ministry.

Cai Fang , director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Population and Labour Economics, said the new ministry could take the whole labour market into consideration.

'In the past, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has been in charge of workers or the ordinary workforce while the Ministry of Personnel has been in charge of scientific and technical talent - splitting the labour market in two,' Dr Cai said.

He said many types of labour market talent, such as business professionals, were not included in the roles of either ministry before.

The Ministry of Personnel and the Ministry of Labour were part of the same ministry before the last institutional reform in 1998.

But Dr Cai said the new ministry would be different from the pre-1998 ministry of labour and personnel because it would take on social security responsibilities such as operating medical insurance schemes for urban employees.

The new ministry could also manage civil servants' retirement schemes, he said.